Abraham staggered NOT at the promise of GOD through UNbelief; but was MADE STRONG in/by FAITH, giving GLORY TO GOD; and being FULLY persuaded that, what He had promised, He was ABLE also to perform. (Romans 4:20-21)
(The following are notes from Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones' sermon, FAITH Glorifying GOD.)
Abraham LOOKED TO GOD. And he looked AT GOD. He kept his eyes ON GOD... GIVING HIM GLORY. Abraham considered GOD. He considered WHO GOD IS. He considered WHAT GOD IS. Abraham glorified GOD just by REALIZING WHO and WHAT GOD IS. He contemplated ALL the GLORIOUS ATTRIBUTES of GOD.
We glorify GOD by realizing the TRUTH about Him and worshiping Him because of that and committing ourselves to Him in the light of that TRUTH.
Abraham considered the ETERNITY of GOD... that GOD IS JEHOVAH -- the Eternal "I AM THAT I AM." He contemplated, meditated, dwelt on the ETERNALITY of GOD.
He also meditated on the MAJESTY of GOD. And the GLORY of GOD (the ultimate attribute of GOD -- the ineffable GLORY of GOD, beyond our comprehension, dwelling in UNAPPROACHABLE light).
Abraham thought about GOD's OMNIPRESENCE -- GOD is EVERYwhere. There is NO place in the WHOLE cosmos where GOD isn't. (see Psalm 139)
The OMNISCIENCE of GOD. GOD KNOWS EVERYthing. There is NOthing that GOD doesn't know. He KNOWS the End and from the Beginning. ALL things are always present before His sight and His scan. He KNOWS ALL and NOthing can happen ANYwhere but that GOD has known it BEFOREhand. His OMNISCIENCE, His foreknowledge is COMPLETE knowledge, without ANY gap or without ANY blemish or any defect whatsoever... OMNISCIENCE -- EVERYthing is KNOWN to Him.
The OMNIPOTENCE of GOD. There is NO LIMIT to the POWER of GOD -- ABSOLUTELY NONE whatsoever! "Is ANYthing too hard for the LORD?" Is there ANYthing GOD cannot do? NOthing! There is NOthing that GOD cannot do. There is NOthing that can withstand Him. HIS POWER IS ABSOLUTE. It is ETERNAL... it is ALMIGHTY. HE IS OMNIPOTENT!
GOD's RIGHTEOUSNESS... His JUSTICE... His TRUTH... His HOLINESS... His UNchangeability... His EVERlasting and eternal CONSTANCY.
Abraham looked at GOD... he looked at these attributes of the Being and the character of GOD, and went on looking at them -- that's HOW he gave GLORY to GOD. Abraham deduced that because of WHO and WHAT GOD IS -- that GOD never makes a PROMISE lightly or loosely... or thoughtlessly. GOD KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT HE IS DOING. Abraham knew that GOD does NOT change His mind. GOD is the Father of Lights, where there is NO variableness or shadow of turning. GOD is EVERlastingly the SAME. What GOD has promised, He will SURELY perform. GOD CANNOT LIE (see Titus 1:2) because of WHO and WHAT HE IS -- ETERNAL Righteousness, UPrightness, TRUTHfulness.
GOD's ABILITY -- Abraham was "FULLY persuaded that, what He had promised, He was ABLE also to perform." With GOD, NOthing is impossible!
Abraham concluded that because ALL these things were TRUE about GOD -- NOTHING ELSE MATTERS AT ALL! What mattered to Abraham was that GOD has spoken -- He made a PROMISE. And there's nothing more INSULTING to GOD than NOT to BELIEVE Him. The TERRIBLE thing about UNbelief is that it's an INSULT to GOD!
FAITH IS that which ALWAYS GLORIFIES GOD. FAITH is to believe GOD simply and solely because HE IS GOD. FAITH is ultimately that which gives GLORY to GOD by seeing the TRUTH about Him and TRUSTing it utterly and and ABSOLUTELY at ALL costs.
FAITH IS the SUBSTANCE of things HOPED for -- the EVIDENCE of things NOT seen. "HAVE FAITH IN GOD" -- translated by Hudson Taylor is "HOLDING ON to the FAITHFULNESS of GOD." The reference is TO GOD.
FAITH does NOT look AT itself. FAITH NEVER looks TO itself. FAITH is never interested in itself nor talks about itself. It doesn't look at the person who's exercising it. FAITH LOOKS AT GOD -- holding on to the FAITHfulness OF GOD. The big thing about FAITH is NOT what i'm doing, but GOD's FAITHFULNESS -- giving GLORY to GOD. FAITH is interested in GOD only; and it talks about GOD, and it praises GOD; and it extolls the VIRTUES of GOD.
The measure of the STRENGTH of a man's FAITH is ultimately the measure of his KNOWLEDGE about GOD. FAITH ALWAYS GLORIFIES GOD! Abraham knew GOD so well that he was the friend of GOD -- and when a man is the friend of GOD, he's a man of GREAT FAITH! Strong FAITH is not weak and he does not stagger -- but it's not the man, but the KNOWLEDGE of GOD, the attributes of GOD. And he's looking at GOD and thinking about GOD -- not the problem or the difficulty, BUT GOD... and he's RESTing there.
To be STRONG in FAITH -- it's about becoming a certain kind of person. You can't have STRONG FAITH without HOLINESS and without OBEDIENCE.
HOW to have STRONG FAITH --
1) KNOWLEDGE of the Bible. Read your Bible -- beginning to end. Concentrate on the revelation that GOD has given of Himself and of His character. Notice what you get in prophecy, watch His promises, see them being fulfilled. Be GROUNDED in all this. Read the history in the Bible; read the examples (see Hebrews 11 -- they KNEW GOD and gave GLORY to GOD). Meditate on all that.
2) Strong FAITH is a KNOWLEDGE of GOD PERSONALLY. Praying. Spending time in His Presence. Waiting upon Him.
3) APPLY it all in PRACTICE to the particular cases as they arise in your own life and experience.
Abraham "staggered not, but gave GLORY to GOD." That's the SECRET of FAITH -- to GLORIFY GOD.